In Pax Pamir, each player assumes the role of a nineteenth-century Afghan leader attempting to forge a new state after the collapse of the Durrani Empire. Western histories often call this period “The Great Game” because of the role played by the Europeans who attempted to use Central Asia as a theater for their own rivalries
To win the game, have the most victory points by the time the last Dominance Check is triggered, or be in the significant lead when any Dominance Check is triggered.
As part of setup, everyone must choose their loyalty
This affects what cards you can play into your court, as some cards can only be played into your court if their loyalty (as shown by the colour banner) matches your own. Otherwise, you will have to change loyalties, which comes at a cost (see "Loyalty and Influence" below).
On your turn, you may take 0-2 actions (plus any free actions) then Cleanup
The three action types are: Purchase, Play, Card Action
Purchasing cards from the market is done via a skip penalty cost, i.e. the first card is free, if you wish to buy card 2, pay 1 rupee to card 1, if you wish to buy card 3, pay 1 rupee to card 1 and 1 rupee to card 2, and so on. If the card you purchased had rupees from before, you gain these rupees. If when paying a skip cost, one or more spaces to pay the penalty to is empty, place the payment on the card on the opposite row first. If you purchase an event card, this is resolved then discarded, all other cards purchased go into your hand.
To play a card, check the region it is associated with. If you are the ruler, or there is no ruler, the card is free to play. If another player is the ruler, you have to pay them rupees equal to the number of tribes they have in that region in order to play the card. The ruler can choose how much of the full cost the active player has to pay, from 0% to 100%. If the criteria to play is met, you may play the card either to the far left or far right of your current Court row. If the card is a Patriot that doesn't match your Loyalty, see "Loyalty and Influence" below. Finally, resolve all Impact Symbols.
After a card is in your Court, you can take one of the actions it provides. Some cards just provide a single action. However, if a card shows multiple icons, you must only pick one to use each turn. Some actions are free, only taking an action point, whilst others have additional costs such as rupees. Spies on cards have to be paid rupees to the owner in order to use them, the cost is equal to the number of spies of the same player. i.e. if player 2 has 1 spy on card A, and player 3 has 2 spies on Card A, player 1 has to pay player 3 2 Rupees to use an action.
A Camel allows you to place a road coalition block on a border of the card's region
A Scythe allows you to place an army coalition block on the card's region
A Weighing Scales gives you 2 Rupees and reminds you that the card is Leveraged (see "Cards")
A Cylinder on Card allows you to place a Spy Cylinder on a matching region card on another player's court
A Crown allows you to place a Tribe Cylinder on the card's region
All the Suits allows you to change the Favoured Suit, if you wish
There are 6 main action types cards may provide
Tax - Take Rupees equal to the card's rank from a player you share a region with (Economic Stars can counter this). If you can't tax another player, you can tax the market.
Gift - Place a cylinder on a gift space at increasing cost of 2 then 4 then 6 Rupees
Build - Place up to three armies or roads or combination of, at a cost of 2 rupees each
Move - Based on the card's rank, gain that many movement points. A movement point moves either an army or spy. If moving a spy, it can move clockwise or counterclockwise from its current position, along the same player's court and even jumping to the next player's court. To move an army, there must be a loyal road on the border to move it from one region to the adjacent region.
Betray - For 2 Rupees, discard a card from your or an opponent's court where you have a spy planted. After which, you may accept the discarded card as a Prize or let it be discarded (see "Loyalty and Influence"). This may also trigger the Leverage icon for the original owner.
Battle - Pick either a card or a region. Remove tokens at that site equal to the rank of the battle card. Tribes, Spies, Roads, and Armies are all eligible for removal and, if allowed to remove more than one, they can be different. There are a few restrictions to this. You may not remove more than you have Armies or Spies at that site, i.e. a rank 2 battle card with 1 army/spy at the site can still only remove 1 token. Armies and Roads and Tribes of your loyalty are immune to removal (This prevents you weakening your current loyalty before switching loyalties).
Check you aren't over Hand or Court Limit
If there are any Event cards in the left-most spot in the Market, discard them and resolve their Impact Event for all Players
If there were any rupees on these cards, they stay lingering in the empty spaces
Move all Market cards to the left, which allows cards to scoop up rupees in empty spaces even if they already had rupees of their own
Draw new Market cards into the now-empty rightmost spots in the Market
If one of the new cards was a Dominance, check to see if it's the only Dominance
If there is another Dominance, complete a Dominance Check, discard all Dominance cards, and draw new cards to fill the spaces
To be successful, a single coalition must have the most blocks in play and four more than any other coalition
If unsuccessful, the player with the most cylinders in play scores 3 points and the player with second most scores 1 point
If successful, players in the winning coalition each score points based on how much influence they have. The player with the most scores 5, then 3, then 1. After which, remove all coalition blocks.
The final dominance check scores double points
Court & Hand Limits
During your turn, your court can contain any number of cards
However, at end of turn, your court can only have 3 + purple stars quantity of cards, any excess must be discarded
Likewise, your hand can contain any number of cards during the turn
However, at end of turn, your hand can only have 2 + blue stars quantity of cards, any excess must be discarded
Economic Stars reduce taxation
Military Stars provide a tiebreaker for end game
Political Stars increase size of Court
Intelligence stars increase size of Hand
Loyalty and Influence
How loyal you are to a country is measured in influence points
This is calculated as 1 + Patriots + Prizes + Gifts
To alter Loyalty, gain an influence point in the new Loyalty (through a Patriot or Prize) then discard ALL Gifts, Patriots, and Prizes previously accumulated
Ruling a Region
To rule a region, you must have one tribe there and more ruling pieces than any other
Once a ruler, you have the following bonuses
You may take the Build action
You have Tax Privilege
You can Extract Bribes
Cards may have multiple actions on them, but only one of these actions may be taken per turn
If you need to discard a card with a spy, this is returned to its owner
If you need to discard a card with the Leveraged icon, either two rupees or 1 card per rupee owed must be discarded too
If you lose the last tribe in a region, all political cards associated with that region are also discarded
If you lose the last political card associated with a region, all tribes in that region are also discarded
There are four suits in the game, and one suit is always shown as favoured, starting with Political (purple) but this will change throughout the game
Economic (Yellow) cards aim to protect against taxation, manipulate rupees and piece movement
Military (Red) cards aim to manage armies and form coalitions
Political (Purple) cards aim to consolidate power and determine card playability
Intelligence (Blue) cards aim to manage diplomacy and compromise enemies
Whichever suit is currently the Favoured Suit allow those cards to take actions without counting as actions
If Military is Favoured, purchasing cost of cards is doubled whilst Favoured
If after a Dominance Check, a player is at least 4 points ahead of everyone else, that player immediately wins
If the final Dominance Check card is resolved and the above isn't true, the player with the most points wins
If there's a tie, the tiebreakers are: first, most Military stars, second most rupees, third cook a Chopan Kebab and the players vote on who cooked the best meal